Sportback mini review


Ibis S3 Fan Club
Jan 1, 2005
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Somewhere Cold
Well my A3 was in for it's first service this morning - 15k. Loan car was a Sportback, in 1.6 sport guise. Firstly had to laugh at the speel from the service have to keep the car tidy. Well it would be hard to mess it up, with coke can in holder and twix / kit kat wrappers in both door pockets /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif

First impressions are that the new steering wheel does not blend with the interior as well as the 3dr version. Also the door / handle design makes the door area look all plastic, if you get my drift!. The gearbox action was really nice and slick / positive and on initial pull away the 1.6 engine seemed really pokey with a nice throaty rasp. However, I did expect, being a petrol that the engine would open up and give it's best after 4k revs.......nope, it kinda never got going. Now for the most dissapointing things, the steering was truly awful, what have Audi done ?. It was heavier than mine, but had NO feel at all and no self centreing what so ever. And they have obviously softened the suspension from that on the 3dr. which didn't improve ride to a noticeable degree, but the thing handled like a boat. The front end just would not turn bite at all. I would have expected a lighter engine to be more responsive to the helm, but no.

I don't mean to offend any owners, and hope someone can tell me it must have been a dud. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
absolutely not.

i had a 1.6 sportback yesterday while mine was in for a MOT (bit gutted as my last loaner was a 2.0 tfsi)

I found it to be the slowest, worst handling, boring POS i have ever had the misfortune to drive. In another thread, i quoted it as being slower than my first car, a 1.1 mk1 fiesta (the only f**d i have ever owned btw /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/angel.gif ) - and that is really no understatement.

The engine:

has two speeds, stop and go. There is barely any difference when you pull away gently from standstill to when you plant the pedal.


as you said, no complaints, really smooth and comfortable, but then again, its not exactly got to do much work...


biting point was 1 inch from top of travel, rest of the pedal travel was a pointless exercise.


usual plush audi finish, no complaints.


for having discs front and back on a 1.6, its shocking, they almost have too much stopping power. The initial bite is hard, and locked it up once by mistake (note: abs didnt kick in).


poor, car feels waaaay to heavy to be a pleasure to drive. Constantly feels like a handful to drive. No power to get out of trouble. Soft wallowy ride.

i can honestly see why some people now take ages to get away from the lights.

overall rating: car would even bore my retired father.
come on guys, it will please the owners. Old biddies or housewives who have lusted after an Audi, but who have no concept of what 'handling' or 'performance' mean.

I don't even know why they've bothered doing a 1.6. For fecks sake, the 2.0FSI is bad enough!
come on guys, it will please the owners. Old biddies or housewives who have lusted after an Audi, but who have no concept of what 'handling' or 'performance' mean.

I don't even know why they've bothered doing a 1.6. For fecks sake, the 2.0FSI is bad enough!

[/ QUOTE ]

Amen to that.
My colleagues 2.0Fsi is one of the most gutless cars I've driven,and it's the 3 door.
I'm sure they are people out there who are not the least interested in 'performance' or 'handling' for that matter. They just want something more luxurious than a Nissan Micro or one of the other boxes with a wheel at each corner. Some people may also want something just a little bit better than a standard basic 1.6 Golf. An Audi is the natural choice.

I'm sure it would suit them fine. They probably never go faster than 40-50mph anyway.
By the look of your Avatar Dave, are you one of these people /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Not really LeMan. Mine is a perfectly standard 2.0 TDI SE DSG but it gets driven a lot faster that 40-50mph !

130mph on the autobahn in Germany this summer for instance and generally around 80-90 on the motorways and dual carriageways in this country.

I did own a basic 1.6 Golf, but it was some 30 years ago. Since then I had 3 Golf GTIs, 2 Audi 80 Sports, an Audi 801.8E, and Audi 90 2.3E, a Golf 2.3 VR6 and 4 A3 1.8T Sports. I think a 1.6 A3 would definetly seem a little tame. Perhaps that's what I'll get when I take mine in for service in a week or so, although I did say I would like to try a 2.0T and they said they would see what they could do !
I also see that Audi are now going to make the 2.0T available in standard rather than only Sport mode. So it will be possible to have the 2.0T without having to suffer sports suspension and ultra-low profile tyres. Might even tempt me back to a petrol !

I test drove a 2.0 FSI and 2.0TDI in both SE and Sport mode with and without DSG before I settled on mine as the best comprimise for the sort of driving that I do. The 2.0TDI was the closed of any of them to my previous 1.8T Sports that I loved, both in performance and suspension set-up.
"Although the basic suspension layout is shared with the three-door A3, the Sportback feels more agile and better-balanced, even in front-wheel drive form"...

Drove 3 door A3 2.0tdi SE as loan car - felt pretty sloppy on the curves to me - although steering and turn in felt little different from SB. My SB Sport feels tauter and handles better - far less body roll - but you'd expect it to.
Can't comment on 2.0fsi but would assume it doesn't have the grunt of the diesel. Also can't see the point of A3 in 1.6 guise - let alone A4 - but they make 'em. As for steering wheel design I couldn't really give a sh!t. Perforated leather looks a bit more contemporary. The one I drove had "piano black" inserts - looked like naff black plastic to me - really tacky. Only option is medial alloy afaic...
Generally however I think 3 door looks neater - unless you need 4 doors of course...end of story...
And also (after a few drinks...) I don't really want to get involved in this 'cos this argument's gone on forever but...I drive 200 miles a week and earn ****** all as a college lecturer & I'm quite sure the 2.0T or the 3.2 are a hoot to drive BUT - I simply couldn't afford to run them. Fact.
As it is the 2.0tdi offers a terrific compromise between performance (which is not astonishing but pretty ****** good & I'm not Jensen fxxxing Button) and economy - 40mpg on average...
I just wish the fxxxing windows didn't rattle....
nighty night... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
You don't lecture on Tourette's Syndrome do you steveb !!
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif Oh - ha fxxxxing ha - no - boxxocks - graphic - fxxk - design - baxxxrd - why?? Woof...
I also had a loaner 1.6 Sportback when my 3.2 DSG was in for some attention and it took a bit of getting used to after stepping out of the V6.

1. No neck-snapping brakes.
2. No power.
3. No power.
4. No power.
5. Tinny sounding engine.
6. No power.
7. Uncomfortable seats.
8. Likes to rev but has...
9. No power
10. Wallows like a pregnant hippo on twisties
11. Needs the use of a left leg.

Got the same drivel from the service manager about keeping it clean and only filling it with Optimax.